The global F&B sector, at present, finds itself in the midst of a radical shift towards plant-based alternatives. Industries like non-dairy yogurt market are reaching new highs on the back of the rapidly growing healthy living trend, which has taken the world by storm. The healthy eating trend proliferated further during the coronavirus lockdown, which in consequence has increased the demand for products such as plant-based yogurt.
Studies have shown that the coronavirus lockdowns have both positively and negatively impacted dietary patterns across the globe, with equally as many people developing healthy eating habits as those who turned to unhealthy eating.
However, as the world started coming out of the social restrictions, a resurgence in mindful eating and flexitarian diet, all spelling good growth for the non-dairy yogurt market. In fact, the growing uptake of the flexitarian diet, is expected to emerge as one of the key drivers of the plant-based yogurt and beverages market as it encompasses converting your diet intake from non-vegetarian food towards vegetarian food with the end goal being a slow transition to veganism.
As per an in-depth analysis of the global non-dairy yogurt industry trends by Global Market Insights Inc., below are the four leading developments that would be shaping the market outlook through 2028:
1) Impact of COVID-19 on non-dairy yogurt market
Speaking of COVID-19 and eating habits, a recent pilot study on the association between consumption of dairy and the risk of contracting COVID-19 discovered that a higher intake of dairy products high in fat, such as high-fat milk, butter, cheese, and total yogurt elevated the odds of catching COVID. The same study also illustrated that a higher intake of dairy products that are low fat, such as low-fat milk, or other low-fat dairy alternatives such as dairy-free yogurt with probiotics played a protective role when it came to COVID.
According to another study, probiotics present inside yogurt exhibit direct antiviral, immunity boosting, angiotensin-converting enzyme-inhibitory activities. And since COVID-19 pathogenesis essentially involves angiotensin II accumulation as well as bradykinin deficiency, the bioactive peptides inside dairy and non-dairy yogurt appear to be potentially beneficial.
While it is clear that dairy resides in a grey area when it comes to the coronavirus, consumer behaviour appears to be erring on the side of caution as the switch to plant-based dairy products, like plant-based drinks, which was ongoing since before the pandemic, has considerably sped up over the past couple of years.
2) Rise on lactose intolerance and its impact on non-dairy yogurt industry share
A significant factor that is augmenting the adoption of non-dairy products such as plant based drinking yogurt is the growing prevalence of lactose intolerance among the global population. The condition is described as the inability to effectively digest lactose, which is a type of sugar that occurs in milk as well as other dairy products.
A key factor that causes lactose intolerance is lactose malabsorption, a medical condition where the small intestine cannot effectively break down or digest all the lactose that is being consumed.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, while most infants possess the ability to digest lactose, many of them start to develop lactose malabsorption as they grow up. In fact, medical experts estimate that approximately 68% of the global population is suffering from lactose malabsorption. The condition occurs sporadically across the world, but it is the most prevalent in Africa and Asia, and the United States, where more than 36% of the population has lactose malabsorption.
This effectively makes these regions more welcoming of the plant-based drink trend, with Asia and Africa observing better susceptibility to coconut yogurt and coconut milk-based products owing to the widescale availability of the nut.
Meanwhile, regions like North America and Europe clock a higher prevalence and consumption of milk and dairy derived from soy, almond, and potato. Recently, Swedish potato milk brand, Dug, introduced its novel potato milk product to UK supermarkets. Marketed as a neutral flavor plant milk suitable to be mixed with coffee or tea, the product is the company’s attempt to capitalize on the UK’s booming alt-milk industry.
3) Increasing adoption of veganism and how it has affected non-dairy yogurt market outlook
Once regarded as a fringe notion, veganism as a dietary practice; where consumers eliminate all animal products from their daily food intake is rapidly coming to the mainstream. Be it for health purposes, out of concern for the animals, or to protect the environment.
The advent of plant-based milk and dairy products can be directly co-related to the time where the popularity and adoption of veganism started to pick up steam worldwide, so much so that plant-based milk, or dairy is often referred to as vegan milk or vegan dairy.
The practice of veganism has been reporting strong growth across different countries, with the US recording a 300% rise in vegans between 2004 and 2019, amounting to approximately 3% of the country’s population, which is more than 10 million people. Meanwhile, the UK reported a further 40% rise in its vegan population, reaching the 1.5 million mark in 2020.
Driven by the influx of new consumers, the demand for vegan products, particularly vegan dairy such as coconut yogurt, has been on a meteoric rise since the start of the pandemic. This new insight is strongly supported by Good Food Institute, which claims that while sales of plant-based food have been rising for years, they have grown by a considerably large margin between 2018 and 2020. This has also impacted the total vegan food retail industry value, which has increased substantially since 2019.
Looking at the growing awareness around healthy, sustainable living, the rising occurrence of lactose intolerance, and the consequent rise of veganism, it is overtly clear that non-dairy yogurt would outsell traditional, animal-based dairy in coming years.
The market is expected to witness the introduction of a further variety of plant-based alt-milk and dairy, with industry players pegged to partake in partnerships, collaboration, and raising investment to expand their geographical reach